I can’t imagine any blogger not giving at least some passing thought to how wonderful it would be to attract thousands of followers to their offerings. When it comes to advice on blogging, there’s no end of those who claim they can reveal the secrets of success.
Having been born in the cretaceous period, I always assumed that blogging would be much like trying to get published in the old fashioned art of sending ‘letters to the editor’ – that’s if you ever look at the antiquated medium of newspapers any more. Short and pithy with a hook and zinger usually led to success.
A conversation with my son revealed the ridiculousness of this view. There are trendy new ways of looking at things in the modern era. In his mind, most blogs can be summed up as: ‘Too Long – Didn’t Read’ (TL-DR). According to him no one has the time to read long blogs. I sympathize with this view. He suggests writing shorter and pithier blogs with a hook and zinger… and then putting a ‘TL-DR’ banner at the end with an even shorter and pithier synopsis of what’s been said at the end. Something the length of a tweet is what he’s looking for, and I think he’s referring to the main blog.
Of course this is the same son that regularly recommends I take in the latest pod-cast he’s found. Amazingly, these pod-casts can hours long – even part of a series of programs, each of which are hours long with enough episodes to run for months. It seems that Marshall McCluen was correct – the medium is the message. Those that aren’t enticed to read much of anything, the TL-DR crowd, can spend endless hours listening to a podcast.
I suspect one thing hasn’t changed – despite the changing allegiance from print to aural offerings – it’s that the topic still has to be of interest to the reader. If you’re fascinated by frogs, for instance, then a blog about the alien frog that took over the Republican Party in the United States will likely provide enough impetus to squeeze in the time to read it through – unless there’s a competing podcast devoted to reptilian politics.
On the other hand, I read a blog a while ago that recommended writing at least several thousand words for each of your offerings. When I consider this advice against my son’s, I know what I do if I’m faced with lengthy blogs…
Bring on the podcast.